Retired June 30, 1963. Died Aug. 22, 1978.
Karl Truesdell Jr., was born in Plattsburg Barracks, N.Y., in 1908. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy June 13, 1933.
That September General Truesdell entered Primary Flying School at Randolph Field, Texas, and graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, in October 1934. On Jan. 31, 1935, he was transferred to the Air Corps and assigned to the Sixth Pursuit Squadron at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Moving to Mitchel Field, N.Y., in September 1936, General Truesdell was engineering officer of the 99th Bomb Squadron. He entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., in January 1940, graduated three months later, and rejoined the 99th. That June he went to Langley Field, Va., and in September 1940 he assumed command of the 29th Bomb Squadron at Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico.
Joining the Air Transport Command in December 1941, General Truesdell was assigned to the Trans-Atlantic Section of the Air Corps Ferry Command at Bolling Field, Washington, D. C., and the following May assumed command of the Foreign Wing, Pacific Section, of the Air Transport Command at Hamilton Field, Calif. In March 1943 he assumed command of Morrison Field, Fla., and the following January assumed command of the 497th Bomb Group at Pratt Field, Kan.
Going to England that May, General Truesdell assumed command of the 95th Bomb Group. Entering the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in March 1945, he graduated two months later and assumed command of the Air Transport Command unit at Trinidad in the Caribbean. That September he was named deputy commander of the Caribbean Division, Air Transport Command, at West Palm Beach, Fla. In February 1946 he was appointed assistant chief of staff for operations of the Air Transport Command.
Entering the Air War College in July 1947, General Truesdell graduated a year later and was appointed senior Air Force instructor at the Naval War College, Newport, R.I. He entered the National War College in August 1950, graduated the following June, and was assigned as Air Force member of a working team in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization at Washington, D.C. In July 1952 he was named chief of staff of the Standing Group, NATO. From July 1955 through June 1958, General Truesdell served as commander of Allied Air Forces Central Europe, Fontainebleau, France. Following this tour, he worked as director of operations for Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, until April 1960, when he left to become commander of 12th Air Force, Waco, Texas.
His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, French Croix de Guerre with Palm and the Polish Cross of the Virtuti Militari. He is rated a command pilot and aircraft observer, and wears a parachutist badge.
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
He was promoted to first lieutenant (temporary) April 22, 1936; to first lieutenant (permanent) June 13, 1936; to captain (temporary) Sept. 9, 1940; to major (temporary) July 22, 1941; to lieutenant colonel (temporary) Jan. 23, 1942; to colonel (temporary) Sept. 8, 1942; to captain (permanent) June 13, 1943; to colonel (permanent) Oct. 19, 1949; to brigadier general (temporary) Dec. 3, 1952; to major general (temporary) Dec. 3, 1954.